Ten Useful Things to Know About Consciousness and Awareness

Consciousness is the information, on a continuum of discrete types from physical to nondual that comprises the mind. In any given moment some types of consciousness are minimal while others are more significant. It is these more influential types of information, e.g. subjective and reflective, that form configurations or states of mind at any given point in time.

These states of mind perceive all the types of consciousness along the continuum. One’s mind, the subject, recognizes consciousness information, the object; it also perceives other objects, i.e. things, persons, and events. This present moment experience of mind in relation to all objects is awareness.

The complexity of mind is not conceptualized according to depth but rather according to topography. Consciousness can be unknown to the mind, awareness cannot. When consciousness is unknown to the mind, we say one is unaware, rather than one is unconscious.

When consciousness is discerned by the mind we say one is aware of the content of one’s mind, and this contributes to knowledge of oneself. This awareness with simultaneous perception of the world creates one’s conscious experience in the world.

If one is unaware of one’s emotional consciousness then one is at risk of becoming the emotion. If unaware that one feels sad then one will embody the sadness in one’s somatic functions, posture, thinking, actions, etc.

If one is aware of one’s emotional consciousness then one recognizes it as something apart from one’s being. One can then exercise choice and control over the emotion as one wants. One might express and release the sadness thereby preventing its undue influence and control over oneself.

Being unaware of one’s mental consciousness means one will be influenced by longstanding beliefs of which one is unaware. Without separation from them one loses the choice to decide if they lead to actions that are useful, valid, or right.

It is transpersonal awareness when the mind is dominated by transcendence and unitive information. At these times one may experience oneself as being a part of something other than oneself while simultaneously feeling one is the whole of which one feels oneself to only be a part. Unusual or extraordinary experiences that break the rules of time and space, and the relationship between mind and matter are also more likely to occur.

The more one experiences transpersonal awareness, the more one relinquishes one’s individual identity and one’s character purified. Thinking, feeling, and acting are more joyful and peaceful, lovingly kind, and altruistic. However, this spiritual awareness is not enlightenment.

Nondual awareness occurs when non-conceptual and formless causal Consciousness is aware of Itself as both formlessness and form in the world. This is beyond unity with everything (that is body, mind, spirit, world, and universe), being “not-two”. One’s awareness is that of Being, in which one is, while simultaneously creating Itself, the world.

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